Steven James in his new book, "Opening Moves" The Prequel in the Patrick Bowers series published by Signet Select introduces us not only to Patrick Bowers but to his supporting cast of characters as well.
From the back cover: In The Bowers Files novels, FBI Special Agent Patrick Bowers has stopped some of the most vicious serial killers ever imagined. Now, in the fifth exciting installment, author Steven James takes readers back to Bowers's terrifying beginning.
Milwaukee, 1997. In a city reeling from the crimes of Jeffrey Dahmer, a series of gruesome kidnappings and mutilations draw authorities into a case like nothing they've ever seen. Cops think a Dahmer copycat is on the loose.
But Patrick Bowers, working as a homicide detective, suspects this is more than an ode to the infamous cannibal. When he discovers that the shocking acts reference some of the most notorious and macabre killers in our nation's history, the investigation spirals into a nightmare of manipulation, brutality, and terror.
Wielding groundbreaking investigative techniques, Bowers must now face off with a killer who will stop at nothing to get his message out to the world. Chilling, gritty, and packed with twists and turns, Opening Moves is Steven James's most heart-pounding novel yet.
So far there have been five books in the Patrick Bowers series and in each one the character of Richard Basque has either been mentioned or has appeared. His character has always been dangerous and as he has evolved one cannot tell if he is lying or not. Basque is a marvelously creepy villain. Now, in "Opening Moves", Basque makes his premiere appearance and this is quite an introduction. During the course of the series Mr. James has told us various scenes from their initial encounter. Well get ready these flashbacks never prepared us for what is between these pages. There is a reason for why Basque scares Bowers and now we know what it is.
"Opening Moves" is unique in that all of the characters, including Patrick Bowers, are new. They are not the characters that we know as they have not become them yet and we are even treated to meeting the woman who will become Patrick's wife and his future step-daughter. Have no fear this is your typical Steven James roller-coaster ride breathless thriller where we are on the hunt for a cannibal serial killer. This book races along at lightening speed and all the characters are put their paces trying to solve this homicide spree and put all the pieces together. Another really great offering from the pen of Steven James. If you enjoy a good adventure thriller then this is the book for you!
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Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Signet Select. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."
I should start by saying that I'm not the typical thriller reader, but I love all of Steven's novels! For me they are beautifully written forays into difficult psychological and philosophical questions that force me to take a deep look at life and into my true beliefs. This latest offering is the most disturbing and therefore the most challenging of the bunch. My favorite aspect is that while the villains are unbelievably creepy and evil, you also get inside of their heads and see what caused them to become who they are. In a strange way, it creates a sense of compassion for the villains. While a part of me was screaming for justice, another part of me was longing for these men to find healing and redemption. It's the rare writer who can create such exceptionally rounded characters.
Opening Moves is the prequel to the Bowers series. It did take me a few chapters to orient to the new time and place and to adjust to the younger Patrick. However, once I did, I was hooked as usual. And while it might be nice to read the books in chronological order if you're new to the series, there are also advantages to reading it as the sixth book, most notably the fact that these crimes are more vicious than any we've seen before and therefore create a sense of escalation for the series. Also, there are many fun and humorous elements that only longtime Bowers fans will appreciate.
I think Opening Moves might be one of Steven James' most chilling and creepy Patrick Bowers book yet (although all of them are creepy in their own way).
I found Opening Moves very interesting and I loved getting to see Patrick Bowers in the way that we do and finding out more about this case (which was mentioned in other Patrick Bowers books).
The story was super suspenseful and (at times) very gruesome - even I had trouble reading it at times and I don't get creeped out by many books - so I'd only recommend this to people who like scary books and can take gruesome scenes. There were a few things I personally didn't like, including when someone said "oh my ***" and a few other edgy things. That said, I did love the story very much and am still giving it five stars because it was so great!
One thing I definitely have taken away from reading the Patrick Bowers series (and especially this book) is a reminder of how depraved humanity is and how we are all born sinners and in need of salvation which can only be found through faith in Jesus Christ. While Opening Moves does contain evil, it doesn't glamorize it or show it in a positive light.
Some of the crimes talked about in Opening Moves actually occurred in real life which made this book all the more chilling and (at times) hard to read. This book made me think, held my attention throughout, and there were a lot of twists I didn't see coming! A great read that, as long as you enjoy thrillers and don't mind some gruesome/violent scenes, I completely recommend! You don't need to have read the other books in the Patrick Bowers series first because this is considered a prequel.
After reading Opening Moves I now can hardly wait to read the next Patrick Bowers book, The King, which is set to release July 2013!
*I received a complimentary copy of this book for my review. I was not required to give a positive review, only my honest opinion - which I've done. All thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.*